Looks as though I picked the wrong week to go on vacation. Last week's show was very good but we get a fair bit of filler this week. We don't get a huge amount in this one: we get another first round match in the Heritage Cup #1 Contender's Tournament between Teoman and Nathan Frazier, something between Nina Samuels and Blair Davenport, Amale versus Emilia McKenzie, and Jack Starz and Dave Mastiff continue their momentum with a match against Andy Wild and Dan Moloney.
Seems like we might be in a holding pattern on the other side of the pond pending the rebranding as well.
Blair Davenport versus Nina Samuels
There wasn't too much build up for this match. Last week Samuels stormed into Sid Scala's office demanding a match to prove she can beat anyone so Scala gave her Davenport much to Samuels' chagrin. Both women are heels but during the entrances they gave strong boos to Davenport and a smattering of cheering for Samuels. Then Davenport assaulted Samuels during her entrance and slammed Sid Scala when he came into the ring with the officials. We ended up with no contest in this one.
Davenport to the US ASAP?
This Week's Promos
Valkyrie Injury: we get a highlight package of Valkyrie and Jinny's no disqualification match from last week. We learn that Valkyrie has a serious knee injury and is out for an undetermined amount of time. Noooooooo! Then we get Jinny cutting a promo on Valkyrie despite being the loser. She tells us that she clipped Valkyrie's wings as promised and despite losing she broke Valkyrie as promised.
Symbiosis: we learn from them that they'll be in a 6 man tag match next week against Saxon Huxley and two partners of his choosing.
Pretty Deadly: the tag champions are at a Tik Tok water fountain photo shoot when Gallus interrupts them. After some jawing back and forth Mark shoves Howley into the water feature which starts sweeping him down river! Stoker and Howley mount a frantic rescue operation as Gallus walks off laughing.
NXT UK Champion Ilja Dragunov: next week we get to relive the match with "special added insight" whatever that means. I don't mind seeing the match again but between this and the Heritage Cup I don't think we're getting much content next week.
Update on Sid Scala: we see him backstage in a neck brace being looked at by the medical staff.
Smith and Carter: the two approach Huxley earlier in the week and offer to be his partners! "You can count on Saxon" he screams as he continues dismantling the locker room for no logical reason. Looks like this will be our team and I love it! I have to agree with Carter here -- "I love that mad man!" Stop being so stuck up Smith!
Gradwell versus Wolfgang: this is next week's match in the Heritage Cup tournament. Gradwell mentions that Wolfgang broke his ribs last time while Wolfgang points out that Gradwell's been dodging him. This time Wolfgang will break everything in his body.
Andy Wild and Dan Moloney versus Jack Starz and Dave Mastiff
Starz and Mastiff are being set up to be a major team in the tag division and Wild and Moloney are jobbers at this point so the writing is on the wall for this one. Wild and Moloney put in yeoman's work but ultimately Mastiff ends this one with a cannonball into Moloney and the pin fall victory!
Amale versus Emilia McKenzie
Amale came after Meiko Satomura demanding another match last week but McKenzie got in her way so the French Hope will go through McKenzie first. Last we saw McKenzie was on the Canada Day extravaganza where she defeated Isla Dawn. The story for her in this match is how much has she improved under Satomura's tutelage.
McKenzie gets a good run of offense in early but Amale derails it with a kick knocking McKenzie to the floor. Amale works McKenzie over trying to wear her down. McKenzie pulls off a nice belly to back suplex but Amale grabs her hair to derail any momentum. McKenzie manages to fight out of a kneeling head lock and gets a series of covers but Amale's power stymies her offense again. Amale lands a big kick in the corner but McKenzie lands "the most devastating move in all of sports entertainment!" the surprise roll up for the pin fall victory!
Honestly McKenzie still looked pretty raw in this one. Definitely improving but slowly. I swear I heard her being coached at one point about where she should be standing. Question for the community: are the referees also coaches in NXT UK? I swear the referee was hovering close and giving directions.
Nathan Frazier versus Teoman -- Heritage Cup #1 Contender's Match - Opening Round
Round 1: Teoman dominates this one early but it proves too hard to keep Frazier's energy down. The round ends with no decisions. Round 2: Frazier comes right at Teoman from the bell and gets a big lariat with momentum off the ropes. Frazier goes for a dive over the top rope but Teoman pulls Rohan Raja in the way. Teoman gets a pin fall. Teoman leads 1-0. Raja looks a little upset at Teoman's actions but Teoman seems to smooth things over during the rest.
Round 3: Teoman starts this one off slowly and methodically despite Frazier still appearing to be in difficulty. Frazier sends Teoman out of the ring with a hurricanrana but when he tries the baseball slide under the ropes Teoman lifts the ring skirt and lands big blows on Frazier as he's tied up in the skirt. Teoman gives Frazier a double stomp but Frazier manages to roll out of the way when he tries a second stomp. This lets Frazier land a hurricanrana from the top turnbuckle but the time runs out in the round before the 3 count. Still 1-0.
Round 4: It's 50/50 to start this round until Teoman lands a drop kick from the top turnbuckle straight to Frazier's back but Frazier manages to kick out before the 3 count. Frazier sends Teoman off the ropes for a spinning slam into a cover for a pin fall! Tied 1-1.
Round 5: Frazier comes charging out of this corner and gets a 2.9 count before Teoman kicks out. Teoman's laid out on the mat but Frazier's too hurt to take immediate advantage. Teoman goes for his springboard back elbow strike but Frazier dodges and does a springboard into his set up for the inverse DDT but Teoman counters into a driver for a near fall. The round ends with Teoman executing this absolutely bonkers move that I can't even begin to describe for the pin fall. Teoman wins 2-1 and advances to the next round of the tournament.
There was some interference from Rohan Raja at the end who distracted Frazier as he attempted an aerial from the top rope which gave Teoman the time to escape. I think this means we might get to see this match up again which I'm down for. These two guys surprisingly worked really well together. They told a good story in the ring and complemented each other well despite fairly contrasting styles.
Reminder/Introduction: A+ is a near perfect show, B+ is a good show, C+ is an average show and anything less than that is not good.
I think this is the first episode since I've been recapping this show that we actually ended in less than one hour instead of going into overrun. The main event was pretty good, probably a solid B+, but the rest left me kind of hungry. Davenport and Samuels didn't even wrestle. McKenzie is still pretty raw but Amale looked good again. And while I like Andy Wild's look and his work in ring that one was pretty much a forgone conclusion. Next week is looking pretty threadbare as well as we'll have the Championship replay with commentary plus a Heritage Cup match (albeit one that looks good) so that's more than half the show accounted for.
As usual let everyone know how you felt about this one in the comments below.
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